Two Luminaries to Receive Honorary Degrees at 2023 Commencement

April 24, 2023

Antonio C. Bianco, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, and alumnus Eli Wachtel (B.S. ’72), co-chief investment officer (CIO) and founding member of the hedge fund Wachtel Capital LLC, will receive honorary degrees at New York Tech’s 62nd commencement on Sunday, May 21, at the university’s Long Island campus. 

Following the degree conferral, Wachtel will deliver the keynote address to the Class of 2023. Bianco will deliver the keynote address later that day to graduates of the College of Osteopathic Medicine during its hooding and commencement. Both Bianco and Wachtel will be honored with a Doctor of Science.

In addition, New York Tech has announced the Class of 2023 student orator and singer. Information technology student Zoya Haq was selected as the student orator to address the Class of 2023 during the commencement ceremony. Caitlyn Ashley Silva Dy, an architecture major, will sing the national anthem. Both will assist in hooding the honorary degree recipients.

“We are thrilled to bestow the distinction of a New York Tech honorary degree on such accomplished leaders and to have them speak to our graduates,” says President Hank Foley, Ph.D. “Antonio Bianco is a highly respected researcher in thyroid science; we are committed to building relationships with researchers of his caliber as we grow our research enterprise. Eli Wachtel is a masterful and highly innovative financier and investment executive who has been active with charitable organizations; as a New York Tech alumnus, he is an exemplary role model for our graduates.”


Antonio Bianco will deliver the keynote address to graduates of the College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Antonio Bianco

Bianco is a physician-scientist and a writer working in the thyroid field. He obtained his M.D. and Ph.D. in Human Physiology in São Paulo, Brazil, and later immigrated to the United States, where he maintains a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded laboratory. Together with his graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and collaborators, Bianco has published in the area of thyroid hormone metabolism and action, with implications for the treatment of patients with hypothyroidism. His research career has focused on how T3 (triiodothyronine) initiates or terminates critical biological steps while maintaining relatively stable plasma levels. Bianco’s work has been recognized with numerous awards and elections to membership in prestigious professional societies. He served as a regular member of NIH study sections and the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Bianco was elected and served as president of the American Thyroid Association in 2016.


Eli Wachtel will deliver the keynote address to the Class of 2023.

Eli Wachtel

Wachtel is the co-CIO and founding member of Wachtel Capital LLC, a hedge fund primarily engaged in classical arbitrage and opportunistically seeking investments in the private capital markets. Until August 2008, he was a senior managing director and a member of the Board of Directors of Bear Stearns & Co., Inc. (BSC). During his 27 years with BSC, he created and managed various businesses, focusing his final four years on building the firm’s energy franchise. Under his leadership, the BSC Energy Division began with proprietary investments and trading. He expanded its activities in 2004 with the creation of Arroyo, a private equity arm, to purchase power generation assets. In 2005, he formed a joint venture with Calpine to exploit physical trading opportunities in power and natural gas, and in 2006, he formed Bear Energy, a full-fledged international energy operation.

Concurrent with his energy activities, he also headed the firm’s Strategic Structuring and Transactions (SST) department, which was also a firmwide resource for new product development and structuring. Prior to joining BSC, Wachtel was the trading partner at Bedford Partners. He has been active on a variety of charitable boards and, besides work, Wachtel’s passion is art.

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